On March 14, 2023, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice announcing the final agenda and panelists for its Roundtable on Environmental Justice and Equity in Infrastructure Permitting to be held on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. According to FERC, the commissioner-led roundtable will provide an opportunity for FERC commissioners and staff to engage with environmental justice community members, advocates, researchers, industry representatives, and government leaders on actions FERC can take to better incorporate environmental justice and equity considerations into its decisions. The roundtable is slated to consist of three panels addressing the following topics:

Panel 1: Priorities for Advancing Environmental Justice and Equity in Infrastructure Permitting
Panel 2: From the Front-Line: Impacted Communities and Their Challenges
Panel 3: Identifying, Avoiding, and Addressing Environmental Justice Impacts

Panelists are scheduled to appear from a wide variety of energy sectors and communities, including federal agencies, state public utility commissions, environmental groups, organizations representing historically underserved communities, municipal utilities, gas companies, trade associations, and academia.

The upcoming roundtable is the latest in a string of public efforts by FERC to identify and integrate environmental justice and equity concerns into its decision-making. Relatedly, on March 16, 2023, Chairman Willie Phillips announced the appointment of Conrad Bolston as the next FERC Senior Counsel for Environmental Justice and Equity. FERC created the position in 2021 to assist FERC in furthering the goals of its Equity Action Plan, which is intended to promote environmental equity and remove barriers to equity for underserved communities.